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Fri07192019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Hi, Dan: I am a homosexual young adult seeking advice about kitten play. I find it very intriguing, and I’m wondering where to start. It’s a turn-on when someone calls me kitten, but I’m not sure how to express my kink or desire for kink play to the person or persons I am into. Any advice would be appreciated.

Constructive Advice Thoughtfully Sought

Hi, CATS: I am a homosexual not-so-young adult without much advice to offer where kitten play is concerned. I’ve encountered plenty of gay puppies in the wild—at various leather/fetish events—but I’ve seen only one fetish kitty in my lifetime, and she was a queen. (A female cat is called a queen; a male cat is called a tom; and a group of cats is called a glare. #TheMoreYouKnow!)

But Amp Somers, who hosts the kink-friendly sex-ed show Watts the Safeword, assures me that gay kitties are definitely a thing.

“Kitten play is a subcategory of the ‘animal role-play’ or ‘pet play’ kink,” said Somers. “It is a form of domination and submission in which someone gets into the head space of an animal they are role-playing and takes on its characteristics—be it with gear (masks, tails, collars) or by acting out the mannerisms of their animal. Most importantly, and this goes for all proper pet players, there are no actual animals involved in this play.”

Puppy play is the most common form of pet play—by far—and it’s very popular among younger gay kinksters. (Please don’t confuse gay pups or kitties with gay bears or otters. The former is about role-play and fetish; the latter is about body type, affirmation and community.) But what accounts for the popularity of pet play among younger kinksters?

“This sort of play allows someone to get into kink easily with or without a partner, and in a playful manner,” said Somers. “Pet play allows players to get their feet wet in the BDSM world without having to visit a dark dungeon, get tied up or engage in anything a newer kinkster might find intimidating. It’s a great entry-level kink.”

As for expressing your kink, CATS, that’s something you’re going to have to work out on your own.

“I imagine CATS already has an image of what kitten play looks like to them, and I bet it differs from what I might imagine my own pet play would look like or even from what readers imagine a kitten player to look like,” said Somers. “Is CATS a domesticated lazy kitten who lies in the sun? A curious, well-trained, docile cat responsive to cuddles and treats? Or are they a rambunctious, bratty, independent stray?”

To find your way into the kink scene, Somers recommends getting online.

“That’s how I first found pet play,” he said. “Sites like kitten-play.com offer in-depth written pieces by players, links to resources, and forums where people like CATS can educate themselves. Other sites like FetLife or Facebook provide more private groups to ‘meet’ others, ask more in depth questions, find local get-togethers, and make friends to socialize with. Or if they prefer video content, YouTube has a number of creators (like ‘Scream Kiwi’) who talk about their kinks in a fun, educational and personal way. And once CATS feels comfortable in their own identity and has defined what they want out of this play, they will be able to really communicate to their partner(s) what they’re into and what they want out of kitten play.”

Check out Amp Somers’ show—Watts the Safeword—at youtube.com/WattsTheSafeword, and follow him on Twitter @Pup_Amp.


I’m a gay male, and one of my good friends has put me in a strange position. The friend has been married to his husband for 15 years, and they are allowed to “play.” I have no desire to be in an open relationship, and I don’t think my boyfriend does, either.

I occasionally go over to this friend’s house right after work to buy weed, and he’s always alone when I come by. He joked about answering the door naked and then did it. (He told me he was going to, but I honestly didn’t think he would do it.) I was extremely uncomfortable, and he knew it. The last time I went over, he was naked again—and this time, he jerked off to completion in front of me. He asked me to join in, and I told him I couldn’t, because I hadn’t discussed anything like this with my boyfriend.

I’m supposed to go over again tomorrow, and he asked me to come by early, because his husband would be getting home from work early that day. This leads me to believe that the husband would not be OK with this. I haven’t said anything to his husband or my boyfriend, because I don’t want this to become a huge mess, and I hoped my palpable discomfort would put an end to it.

Any thoughts on how I should handle this nicely to make it stop without hurting his feelings?

Undressed Naked Friend Really Is Engineering Needless Drama

Your “good friend” is an asshole, UNFRIEND. He’s violating a whole bunch of social norms—chiefly the don’t-jerk-off-to-completion-in-front-of-other-people-without-their-enthusiastic-consent norm (aka the Louis C.K. Career in Comedy Memorial Norm)—and relying on your adherence to other social norms (avoid being rude; defuse don’t confront; spare others’ feelings) to get away with violating you as well. This asshole is sexually harassing you, and you haven’t told him to stop in unambiguous language.

The only reason you’ve given him for not whipping it out yourself is that you haven’t “discussed anything like this with (your) boyfriend.” He has self-servingly interpreted your reason for not joining in like this: “He wants to, and maybe he will after he has a ‘discussion’ with his boyfriend.” I’m sorry, UNFRIEND, but you’re going to have to be blunt: “You have to knock this shit off. It’s disrespectful; it’s nonconsensual; and it’s pissing me off.” Don’t worry about hurting his feelings—he obviously doesn’t care about your feelings—and find a new weed dealer.


I have a follow-up question on your advice for JACKS, the gay manager who ran into an employee at a JO party. Alison “Ask a Manager” Green told him he couldn’t go to these parties anymore. A distinction was made between sexual-situation encounters between bosses and those they manage in “private clubs” (the JO club) or at “public events” (Folsom Street Fair). My question is about Grindr/Scruff/Growlr/etc. Are these more like “private clubs” or “public events”?

In part, my question stems from being a professor and having seen students and colleagues on these apps. I feel like I should not be reading the profiles of students in my department (who are mostly graduate students). I am also troubled by my colleagues appearing on these apps—from the perspective that this seems to be a sexually oriented space, and there is the power differential between faculty and students.

Basics Of Sexual Spaces

Dating apps are the new gay bars—more than 75 percent of same-sex couples met online—so telling gay bosses or college profs they can’t go on dating apps because their gay male students or underlings might be on them means condemning gay bosses and profs to celibacy. Bosses and profs shouldn’t flirt with their students and underlings, of course, and it might be a good idea to block ’em when you spot ’em—so you won’t be tempted by their profiles/torsos, and they won’t be tempted by yours—but gay bosses and profs are free to look for dick on dating apps.

On the Lovecast, where do kinks come from? Dr. Justin Lehmiller on the science of desire: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

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I have a secret: For the past three months, I’ve been attending a local jacks club (a men-only masturbation event). As someone recovering from sexual abuse, I find the party to be safe, therapeutic and just sexy fun. I feel like I need this!

Unfortunately, I spotted one of my employees at last week’s event. Although I’m openly gay at my workplace, being naked, erect and sexual in the same room as my employee felt wrong. I freaked out, packed up and departed without him seeing me (I hope). I’m his manager at work, and I feel that being sexual around him could damage our professional relationship. It could even have dangerous HR consequences.

I realize he has every right to attend jacks, as much right as me, but I wish he weren’t there. I want to continue attending jacks, but what if he’s there again? Frankly, I’m terrified to discuss the topic with him. Help!

Just A Cock Kraving Safety

“I hate to say it, but now that JACKS knows his employee attends these events, he really has to stop going,” said Alison Green, the management consultant behind the popular Ask a Manager advice column (askamanager.org) and the author of Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work.

And why do you have to stop going to your beloved JO club?

“In an employment relationship where he’s in a position of power,” said Green, “JACKS has a responsibility to avoid any remotely sexual situation with an employee.”

Green also strongly advises against pulling your employee aside and working out some sort of shared-custody agreement—you get jacks to yourself every other week—because initiating a conversation with a subordinate about when and where he likes to jack off would be a bad idea. She also doesn’t think you can just keep going in the hopes that your employee won’t be back.

“If he continues to attend, and it got back to anyone at their workplace, it would be really damaging to his reputation—not the fact that he was at the event to begin with, but the fact that he continued to attend knowing an employee was also participating,” said Green. “It would call his professional judgment into question, and it’s highly likely that HR would freak out about the potential legal liability that arises when you have a manager and a subordinate in a sexual context together.”

It seems crazy unfair to me that you should have to stop going to parties you not only enjoy, JACKS, but that have aided in your recovery. And Green agrees—it isn’t fair—but with great power (management) comes great responsibility (avoiding places where your employees are known to jack off).

“It’s never going to feel fair to have to drop out of a private, out-of-work activity just because of your job,” said Green. “I’m hoping it’s possible for JACKS to find a different club in a neighboring town. Or he could start his own club and offer a safe haven for other managers hiding out from potential run-ins with employees—Jacks for Middle Managers or something!”

While I had Green’s attention, I asked her about other sorts of gay social events that might toss a manager and an employee into a sexual context—think of the thousands of men who attended the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco last month. Gay men (and others) walk around in various states of undress or dress up, and a lot of flirting, groping and more goes down. Should gay men in management have to skip events like Folsom, lest they run into men they supervise?

“Public events are different from private clubs,” said Green. “A private club is more intimate, and a public event is, well, public. And it’s not reasonable or practical to expect managers to entirely curtail their social lives or never attend a public event. But a private club that’s organized specifically and primarily for sexual activity is in a different category.”

However, gay managers who run into employees at events like Folsom or circuit parties shouldn’t ogle, hit on or photograph their employees.

“If someone who reports to you is in a sexual situation,” said Green, “you should keep moving and give them as much space as you reasonably can.”

I’m going to give myself the last word here: You’ve been attending that JO club for months and saw your employee there only once, JACKS, so I think you can risk going back at least one more time. I would hate to see you deprived of release (and see your recovery set back!) if your employee was there only that one time.

Follow Alison Green on Twitter @AskAManager.


My husband and I are visiting Italy right now. We decided to try out the local hospitality and have had two bad hookups. Both of us knew early on in the encounters that we weren’t enjoying it, but we didn’t know how to extricate ourselves.

What is the proper way to end a failed hookup with minimum insult/hurt to the third person?

Texans Seeking Amore

1. The unvarnished truth: “We’re sorry, but we aren’t really feeling it.”

2. The little white lie: “Oh, my goodness. I think the clams we ate earlier were off. I’m so sorry; we’re going to have to call it a night.”


My wife recently came out as bisexual after spending time with a woman who awakened her feelings. I suspected for a long time that my wife was probably bisexual, so I had no issues telling her to explore this side of her sexuality. My only caveat for opening our marriage was that I wasn’t comfortable with her entering into a relationship with another man. This pissed my wife off; she told me I was being irrational; we fought about it, blah blah blah.

Fast-forward a few weeks. My wife swiped right on a guy on Tinder and then checked in with me to see if the boundaries had shifted. I have a hotwife-type fetish, so I gave her the OK to swap sexy texts, and we agreed on a possible threesome. It didn’t pan out; my wife was bummed; we moved on.

She has started chatting up other guys on Tinder. Nothing has happened yet between them, but I feel like I’m being pulled ahead of where I’m comfortable in exploring an open marriage. I’m not opposed to simple hookups, but a separate relationship with a man? The intimacy and affection parts bug me.

How do you acclimate to this kind of adjustment? Or do I throw the brakes on and reverse?

Personally Feeling Fearful Today

So you gave your wife permission to explore her bisexuality—with other women—and she jumped on Tinder and started swiping right on men? Even though you’d told her that wasn’t something you were comfortable with? And it now appears that your wife doesn’t just want to have sexual experiences with women and men (but mostly with men), but relationships with other women and men (but mostly with men)? And she only checks in with you about your boundaries to see if they’ve crumbled yet?

This isn’t how someone opens up a marriage, PFFT, unless that someone isn’t interested in staying married. So you’re going to need to hit the brakes and get some clarity from your wife. You’re willing to open your marriage up to allow for outside sexual experiences, preferably ones you get to take part in (hot-wifing scenes, threesomes), but you’re not interested in polyamory—that is, you don’t want your wife to have a boyfriend. If a boyfriend is what she wants, and she’s unwilling to compromise and can’t negotiate with you in good faith, you don’t want to be her husband.

On the Lovecast, cartoonist Ellen Forney on dating with bipolar disorder: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

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